Sunday, 19 September 2004

Director of R and D

I was the Director of R and D for my company for a long time. In this job title, "R and D" stands for "Repeat and Duplicate".

Innovations are made in small steps. In science, at least as I understood it when I was young, is about repeating other's experiments, verifying the results and learning the process. During these hard work, improvements are made, small mostly.

In these days of patent lock-up, it is NOT about publishing the achievement and improvement. My patent lawyer told me the other day, it is about limiting other people's use of your idea. Hence this concept of patent portfolio and mutual licensing. He advised me to break my invention into several patents in order to start building a patent portfolio. When there is a way of doing thing which is lock up in other's patent (by the way, I discover the method myself independently - but it does not matter, somebody has the exclusive right just before you), one can use one's patent portfolio to negotiate for some mutual licensing. This makes sense, a lot of $en$e - but only to the lawyers! I ended up protecting my IP using "trade secret". BTW, if you ask nicely, I may tell you my trade secret after a drink.

Back to this "Director of R and D" thingy. Should all of us call ourselves Director of R and D? Under the protection of "fair use" and "educational use", let's R and D for the betterment of the world...

ps On another thought, I should trademark my family name. That would help my bottom line a lot!

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